What is marital and family therapy?
Marital and family therapists understand that people do not live in isolation. We interact and have relationships with one another. Research has shown that we thrive better with the support of others. A strong loving relationship promotes individual growth and self-actualization and is linked to coherent positive sense of self (Ruvolo & Jobson Brennen, 1997). In addition, research indicates that family therapy is the most effective approach when the core problem is relational (marital conflict, family problems…etc). Moreover, research has shown the impact of relationships on disorders previously known as individual problems such as anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. The world is a less intimidating place when we face it with the support of a loved one(s).
How does therapy work?
The therapy process starts with some preliminary assessment of your situation. Ms. Huong will work with you to identify your goals and the strategies that work well for you. Having a goal is important because it will help you and Ms. Huong focus throughout the process. Therapy is a fluid process which may be described as a cycle of ongoing assessment, identification of the core problems and goals, clarifying behavioral/relational patterns, developing strategies/skills, and practicing the steps/skills needed to achieve your goals.
Individual, couple, or family therapy?
Individual therapy. Many individuals opt for individual therapy for various reasons. One of the most common reasons is that their partner/family is unavailable or unwilling to participate in therapy. If you choose individual therapy, Ms. Huong will help you identify your therapy goals, challenges, individual strengths, family dynamics, available support systems, explore strategies to help you cope more effectively, and achieve your therapy goals.
Couple therapy. If you recognize reoccurring problems in your relationship that prevent you from having a loving connection with each other, then couple therapy may be more suitable for you. Ms. Huong will assist you identify positive and negative relationship pattern and explore ways to connect and bond with each other. Research has shown that happy couples argue as most couples do. However, they are able to re-connect and repair after an argument. They are able to clearly express their vulnerabilities and respond to the emotional signals of their partner.
Family therapy. Family therapy might be the most effective option if you notice your child regularly has problems at school, appears anxious and depressed most of the time, or when your marital conflict starts to affect your child. When working with children and adolescents, parental involvement in therapy is essential because parents are the biggest support system they have. In addition, children adjust and thrive better when parents are able to understand their emotional signals and create more opportunities for bonding.
Whichever type of therapy you choose, it is important to note that practicing new skills yields the best results in meeting goals. Those who are learning a new language, understand the importance of learning new vocabulary and using them on a daily basis. And most of all, the world is a less intimidating place when you have a loved one with you.
In couple or family therapy, you will gain insight into your relationship patterns, the core issues, and explore where you feel stuck in your relationship. In individual therapy, you will gain a tangible understanding of your situation and the triggers to your problems. Awareness helps you to be in control.
You will learn research proven strategies that will help you connect with loved ones more effectively. We will also work on strategies that will help you cope with the challenges you are facing.
By understanding the core issues and repeatedly practicing more effective ways of connecting with your partner, family members and friends, you will be able to build a stronger bond with them.
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